MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.3 per cent to today’s 1.3 per cent rise — the biggest gain in eight months.
The index has been on an uptrend most of this year, posting a monthly loss only once in 2017. For the year, it is up about 33 per cent so far, on track for its best annual performance since a 68 per cent jump in 2009.
Robust global growth, low interest rates, strong corporate profits and expectations of US corporate tax cuts have boosted equities around the world.
“Emerging markets are flying and this is where traders are really generating outperformance,” said Chris Weston, Melbourne-based chief markets strategist at IG.
“Asia, in particular, is looking super strong,” he added. “There is a genuine chase for performance from active money managers here.”
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index is up 35.5 per cent year-to-date while China’s CSI 300 has returned 27.4 per cent so far in 2017.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq advanced to record closing highs yesterday, while the Dow set a new intra-day high.
Investors looking to eke out additional gains before the end of the year flocked to tech stocks, some fund managers said, with Apple Inc, Google’s Alphabet Inc and Amazon.com rallying.
While markets expects the Federal Reserve to hike rates next month, analysts say that is unlikely to dampen equities as financial markets remain accommodative.
The US Treasury yield curve flattened to its lowest in a decade as benign inflation and hunger for yield have supported longer-dated debt. Benchmark 10-year notes have inched higher to yield 2.3559 per cent.
The two-year Treasury, at 1.77 per cent, is at the highest since 2008 and is set to surpass Australia’s two-year government bond yields for the first time since December 2000.
In currencies, the US dollar was generally on the backfoot against major rivals, falling for a second straight day on the Japanese yen.
The Mexican peso jumped to its highest in a month on conclusion of Nafta talks.
The euro trod water at US$1.1741, drifting away from a recent one-month peak of US$1.1860.
In commodities, oil extended gains after data showed a bigger-than-expected draw in inventories and copper rose for a third straight day.
US light crude added 25 cents to US$57.08 (RM236.69) while Brent crude oil was flat at US$62.57, not far from a near 2-1/2 year peak of US$64.65 touched earlier this month.
Spot gold was up 0.1 per cent to US$1,281.68. — Reuters
Source: The Malay Mail Online